Flight, the movie

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Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:28 am

Flight, the movie

Post by greerl »

Saw Flight a week ago. Though engrossing (I liked the cast) I call it a so-so movie; however, it did get me thinking a bit about our criminal justice (need definition) system.

In this movie, see http://www.paramount.com/flight/ for review, Denzel Washington, while under the influence, as the pilot of a plane supposedly saves 100 lives by making an impossible landing. Yet, the movie ends with the "book being thrown at him" because he was under the influence.

One might well assume from the movie that he made the impossible landing because he was under the influence.

Is our system consistent about punishment based on:
  • The action without regard to consequences?
    Primarily the consequences?
In what I assume is more like the real world, the reality is that someone as drugged up as Denzel in this movie probably would be far too impaired to fly the plane so the premise of the movie is probably nonsense. In the real world I've wondered why for even first offenders (DWI) at least their car is not impounded even if no crash, no consequences. I say this because we "know" that such a person is a crash sure to happen, sooner rather than later.

But, is this real world assumption really true that most (all) addicts re a crash to happen or are they just making killing themselves slowly?

Even if true, would not it make more sense to just force treatment for first offense rather that punish?

But back to the movie ... in the real world would a first offender (first time caught in Denzels case) receive significant punishment if there were no consequences, i.e., in his case no crash, no in flight incidents?
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:13 pm

Re: Flight, the movie

Post by tim »

Haven't seen this movie yet. Heard about it though. I suppose the same considerations could apply to drunk driving. It seems to me that maybe the question is whether, if someone is found to have been drunk driving as a result of an incident where lives were saved because of the inebriation (that's a stretch!) does that mean the person should be allowed to continue to drive? Say they were a bus driver, for example. I would say, no, a freak occurrence does not make it all better.

Suppose someone went to someone else's house, intending to kill the someone else. They have a high-powered rifle and they see who they think is the intended victim through a window and they take a head shot. Turns out the person killed is not the person the gunman intended to kill but someone else entirely, a home invader who was just about to kill the gunman's intended victim whose life was thereby saved. Does that make the gunman a hero? I don't think so. Here the Denzel Washington character is not intentionally bad, of course, but only negligently bad. Still, a freak occurence and outcome doesn't erase the irresponsible/negligent behavior, right?
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